Last year Meitei introduced the world to his wondrous universe with the critically acclaimed 'Kwaidan' tape, seamlessly combining the rich Japanese ambient tradition of the eighties with the sample-based aesthetics of nineties pioneers Susuma Yokota and Nobukazu Takemura without ever sounding retro. With the release of his debut album 'Komachi' it's safe to say he's here to stay. Using field recordings, white noise and the hypnotic sounds of flowing water to create twelve mesmerising soundscapes that sound hauntingly nostalgic yet weirdly contemporary, the Hiroshima-based experimental composer aims to revive the soul of Japan, creating a strangely wonderful dreamworld that's unlike anything else out there right now. Echoes of Steve Reich's minimalist approach merge with the sounds of fading Japanese tradition (the album derives its name from Ono no Komachi, the eighth century waka poet whose mythical beauty and profoundly wistful writing made her a lasting legend) and the forward-thinking attitude of modern genre-defying sound alchemists like J Dilla, Flying Lotus, Teebs and Ras G (RIP). 'Komachi' is a work of rare beauty that deserves to be heard by anyone with an open mind (RO).
Haunting and delicate, distant and timeless, Komachi is awash with white noise, complex field recordings and the hypnotic sounds of flowing water. Though confidently contemporary, like a bucolic J-Dilla, Komachi’s lineage can be traced back to the floating worlds of Ukiyo-e and Gagaku via the prism of 80s Japanese ambient pioneers, and 90s pastoral sample-based artists such as Susumu Yokota and Nobukazu Takemura.
Composed as individual sonic dioramas, each of the twelve tracks have been crafted to not only evoke feelings of nostalgia but to also explore the dichotomy of ancient and new in modern Japanese society. This pervasive narrative runs throughout, calling to mind the work of authors Yasunari Kawabata and Natsume Soseki, as well as the films of Yasujirō Ozu and Hayao Miyazaki, artists similarly fascinated by the reflective tranquillity that permeated traditional Japanese domestic life. Limited DMM pressing.